Since this is a ex-JW forum, it's important to remember this is NOT about the JWs definition of 'materialism', "the love of money and possessions", as some may mistakenly think. That's only one of the reasons why the term materialism is no longer preferable, and why something like 'physicalism' is more helpful, the belief that the universe is composed of only energy and matter, and most importartly, no 'spiritual woo'.
Adam said- Yeah, that prove you're projecting YOUR fears onto others.
Willmarite said- That would be possible but these are only theoretical fears of mine that do not exist.
Is it? Being that there's absolutely NO evidence to support an idea of anything besides physicalism, I'd suggest your adoption of believe in anything else is an unconscious mechanism you and many others have adopted to avoid having to confront that idea, and the fear you are assume that must accompany. That's what defense mechanisms are all about.
Adam- You really should be asking yourself of where you ever got the idea of spiritual woo, in the first place, as your default position? Because aside from cultural influences, there's absolutely no evidence for it.
Willmarite said-This would be your opinion. Thanks
Well, YEAH, and that should be pretty-darn obvious, just as is the fact that it's YOUR life, and has NO BEARING on others what you do with it?
However, you started a thread eliciting opinions, so probably shouldn't be surprised when others take the time to offer their opinion(s). NO ONE can MAKE you do or think anything (although I realize many ex-JWs are struggling with 'defiance of authority' issues and working at rebuilding their sense of automony and ego, and will automatically rebuff any statements they perceive as attempts to control them, even if they asked for them).
Materialist' is not synonymous with 'nihilist'. Don't insult me like that!
'Free will' implies there's not someone (usually, some God(s)) pulling the levers. The only one yanking our chains is often US OURSELVES, and most people cannot handle the responsibility of accepting that fact, since it means they cannot deny their personal responsibility any longer.
Willmarite said- Sorry, no intention to insult. I certainly agree with you that we and we alone have ultimate responsability to what happens to us and our planet. How does your version of materialism reconcile itself with free will?
Sorry, as I forgot to put a 'winkie', as I wasn't actually insulted, just amused by your assumption that we must be nihilists, based on your thinking that YOU'D respond in that manner, too, IF you were a materialist (it's likely a vestige of the 'stinking thinking' that the JWs and other churches drum into the congregation as part of their attempt to straw-man atheists as living life with nothing to hope for, blah, blah, blah. Such attempts to define others who they disagree with make me .)
I don't see any conflict with physicalism and free will: why should there be?
God defines His will, and humans have to follow His will, or face punishment. The problem of lack of free will partly stems from the idea of a God possessing Divine foreknowledge (prescience), but if you take a God out of the equation, any problems with free will essentially disappear (aside from social effects which hinder free will, eg laws).
BTW, I don't fully agree with the words of Bertrand Russell, as it reads as rather nihilistic. Yes, there's a school in physics that think eventually the Universe will end up in heat death, but it's an assumption, and an idea that's not agreed upon. Those prone to Chicken Little thinking (eg "Armageddon is coming!") are likely going to be worried about what MIGHT happen, long after they're dead. Such thinking stems from the same lack of perspective, just a slightly different flavor of it.